Counting your blessings - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Counting your blessings

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ESCONDIDO (CBS 8) - While survivors continued to trickle into the charred remnants of the Harmony Grove Spiritualist Community to face the all too familiar grim reality of losing everything, Chris Meridith, a 27-year resident, was counting his blessings.

"This is all material. This can all be replaced. What's important is the people, that our people, our community are still here," Chris said.

Chris was also counting his koi, being rescued from his pond, by the Koi Club of San Diego.

"We lost about four," he said.

But his leased home was a total loss.

"Ten minutes to spare. We got out of here with the shirts on our back. So unfortunately, we lost everything, house and what have you, but we are safe and that's the main thing," Chris said.

It was a double loss for this community minister, whose church was in ruins.

"The church may be gone, but the church is the people and the people are here," he said.

Larry L'Heureux leases one of only three structures still standing in the entire community.

"The windows were broken out, because of the heat. So there's a lot of smoke damage," Larry said.

Still, he was grateful to have something that survived.

"Just your toothbrush. Whatever it happens to be, it's still there for me. All of these people don't have that luxury," he said.

Soon, staffers from the Department of Insurance and the Contractors License Board were echoing my words, and warning of the vultures who would soon descend upon the community.

For the survivors of the Harmony Grove Spiritualist Community, the fire storm of red tape now lies ahead.

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